California Mental Health Services Authority

Training for Areas of Specialization

There are 4 areas of specializations for certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists. These specializations focus on additional training that build on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists. The training hours and core competencies covered vary by specialization. 

CalMHSA does not endorse training in areas of specialization as a stand-alone training nor taking these trainings prior to the core competency training.

The four areas of specialization are:

Parent, Caregiver, Family Member Peer

Parent, Caregiver, Family Member Peer plays a critical role in the wellbeing of the families they serve.  The Peer-to-Peer relationship focuses on the relationship between the parents, caregivers, and/or family member’s support on behalf of the person in care.

The specialization training for Medi-Cal Peers Support Specialist covers the following core competencies, which are taught in a 40-hour course. 

  1. Professional Responsibilities
  2. Systems Knowledge and Navigation
  3. Resources and Natural Supports
  4. Wellness and Resiliency
  5. Effecting Change
 
The complete and detailed Parent, Caregiver, Family Member Peer Training Curriculum (previously known as landscape analysis) is available in our resource library.

Peer Services in Crisis Care

Peer Services in Crisis Care can complement clinical services and help individuals in crisis.  The inclusion of peer support workers in crisis care helps facilitate a trauma-informed response and recovery oriented and strengths-based approaches. Peer support workers demonstrate that recovery is possible and act as an advocate for the individual. This may help improve outcomes, such as reduced trauma and agitation, increased trust, reduced hospitalizations and emergency department usage for mental and/or substance use disorders, reduced recurrence of symptoms, and decreased recidivism. 

Following are the three categories and their core competencies for peer services for in-crisis care. Please note that situations can be fluid and escalate or de-escalate quickly from tension to crisis and back. The Peer support skills needed for this specialization carry across the artificial boundaries of these categories.

        Prevention – 

  1. Pathways to Crisis
  2. Prevention, De-Escalation, and Crisis Resolution
  3. Engagement and Resource Connection / Navigation
  4. Person-Centered Trauma-Informed
  5. Co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance use

    During Crisis –

  6. Conflict Resolution
  7. Person-Centered Trauma-Informed
  8. Co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance use
  9. Crisis and special populations

    Post-Crisis / Recovery / Ongoing Peer Support –

  10. Crisis planning and support
  11. Self-awareness and self-care
 
The complete and detailed Crisis Care Training Curriculum (previously known as landscape analysis) is available in our resource library.

Peer Services for Unhoused

Peer Services for Unhoused can complement clinical services and help individuals who are unhoused or may become unhoused.

Individuals and/or families may have unique behavioral health challenges and/or co-conditions.  Peer support specialists with experience being unsheltered or unhoused offer a unique perspective in supporting others meet their needs, including behavioral health, housing support, and health conditions.

Following are the core competencies for Specialization – Peer Services for Unhoused:

  1. Application of Lived Experience
  2. Empowerment and Promotion of Recovery
  3. Co-Occurring Disorders: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
  4. Special Populations and Cultural Considerations
  5. Trauma Informed Care
  6. Self-Awareness and Self-Care
  7. Conflict Resolution
  8. Professional boundaries and ethics
  9. Safety and crisis planning
  10. Systems and Resource Navigation
 

The complete and detailed Curriculum for Working with Persons Unhoused  (previously known as landscape analysis) is available in our resource library.

Peer Services for Justice Involved

The experience with the criminal justice system can impact an individual’s life in many ways and it is best understood by individuals who have similar lived experience. Peers may support individuals with linking to services that address their behavioral health needs and preventing further involvement in the criminal justice systems and ease reentry into their community after incarceration.

Following are the core competencies for Specialization Peer Services for Justice Involved:

  1. Application of Lived Experience
  2. Role of Advocacy
  3. The role of consumers and family members
  4. Engagement Skills and Interventions
  5. Cultural Responsiveness
  6. Trauma Informed Support
  7. Self-Awareness and Self-Care
  8. Co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance use
  9. Professional Boundaries and Ethics
  10. Safety and Crisis Planning
  11. Community Reintegration Support
  12. Recidivism Risk Factors
 

The complete and detailed Curriculum for working with Justice Involved (previously known as landscape analysis) is available in our resource library.

Training Providers for Specializations

Specialization Training Codes: 

PCF: Parent, Caregiver, Family Member  /  CC: Crisis Care  /  UH: Unhoused  /  JI: Justice Involved

Provider - Click for Information!Provider Location (In Person Centers)Specialization(s) *Training MethodTraining ModalityTraining HoursTraining Length
Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. (Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions - CRRS)Sacramento, CA PCF
JI
- In Person
- Online (Live)
- Cohort StyleOnsite: M-F 8:30a-4:00p
Online: M-F 8:30a-12:30p
(alt schedule possible)
40 Hours
Los Angeles County Partner Training Academy (PPTA)Lancaster, CAPCF- In person
- Online
- Cohort StyleHalf or Full Days76 Hours
Lutheran Social Services Southern California (LSSSC)StatewidePCF- Hybrid- Individual (with in-person shadowing)Self-Paced40 Hours
Pacific ClinicsVariousCC
UH
- Online
- Hybrid
- Custom
- Cohort StyleVaries40 Hours
Painted BrainVariesJI- Online
- In person
- Hybrid
- Cohort StyleVaries40 Hours
RI InternationalVarious LocationsPCF
CC
- Online
- In person by request
- Cohort StyleM-F
8:30a - 4:30p
40 Hours
Riverside University Health System – Behavioral HealthDowntown Riverside, Indio, Hemet, CAPCF
CC
UH
JI
- In person- Cohort StyleM - F
8:30a-5:00p
5 days in total (40 hours)
Share!Culver City and
Los Angeles 
PCF
CC
JI
UH
- Online
- In Person
- Hybrid
-  Cohort StyleVaries40 Hours
SycamoresLos Angeles, CAPCF- Online- Cohort StyleVaries40 Hours
Tarzana Treatment Centers College (TTCC)Statewide (online)
Los Angeles (in person)
PCF
CC
UH
JI
- Asynchronous
- In person
- Hybrid
- Cohort Style
- Individual
Varies 40 Hours
Worker Education & Resource Center (WERC)Statewide (online)CC- Asynchronous- IndividualSelf-Paced40 Hours
* Specialization CodesPCF - Parent, Caregiver, and Family Member PeerCC = Peer Services in Crisis CareUH = Peer Services for Unhoused JI = Peer Services for Justice Involved
Additional training providers for specializations coming soon!!